The reserve extends between Marinella di Selinunte and the promontory of Porto Palo.
It includes the terminal stretch of the Belice river and the characteristic dunes (small reliefs of sand carried and deposited by the wind) with areas periodically flooded by the waters of the sea.
The Belice River is a seasonal waterway, it was born in Piana degli Albanesi, in the inland of Sicily and after a 77 km course it flows into the sea, in the area of the reserve.
The mouth has depressed areas which are periodically flooded with brackish water.
The last stretch of the river enters the reserve following an almost straight path and then stretches parallel to the coast and, after forming a last loop, flows into the sea.
Many species of birds stop and nest here. We point out the fratellino, the moorhen, the beccamoschino, the cannaiola, the Gray heron and the Beccapesci.
The reserve beach is an egg-laying site for the sea turtle Caretta caretta.
It is worth mentioning the presence of numerous species of insects linked to the dunes, many of which are at risk of extinction, such as the megachalpus brachitripe, a widespread grillide in Africa, present in Italy only in a restricted area of Sardinia and in some areas of the Sicily.
The sandy coast is characterized by psammophytes, plants adapted to withstand the dryness, the saltiness and the mobility of soil particles.
The wonderful dunes are till a meter high
Where the river approaches the sea there is am interesting typical vegetation of the place